A FORMER Kidderminster mayor and mayoress say they were kicked out of a hotel and left stranded after their Spanish getaway turned into a nightmare.

Independent councillor John Aston and his partner Madeline Craddock, of Spennells, were two of the casualties of the Thomas Cook collapse, having booked their holiday to Almería with the travel giants.

The couple say that after news broke of the collapse, they were locked out of their room at the hotel in Aguadulce on Tuesday (September 24).

They noticed their room cards didn't work after they ate breakfast and when Mr Aston complained about this at the desk, he was presented with a bill for €700 by the manager.

He refused to pay the amount and the manager told him to vacate the room before 12 noon.

Mr Aston said: "Our cards didn't work in our room. I went to do battle with the reception.

"The manager told me if we didn't pay, then we must leave."

The couple frantically made last minute arrangements for a night stay at another hotel for the final night before they were due to fly home from Almeria Airport on Wednesday (September 25).

Mr Aston said that his daughter-in-law kept the two up to date with information on flights from back in the UK.

He added: "Thousands of people were queuing at the airport. It was a mess.

"It's a very serious situation and a big dilemma."

Despite airport chaos, the two managed to get a flight back the the UK on the day.

Mr Aston had to miss that night's full Wyre Forest District Council meeting.

Madeline Craddock said: "We didn't know what was going to happen when a company like that can come to the wall.

"It's a frightening thing being out in a country when you don't think you can get back.

"It's definitely put us off holidays for a bit."